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Two new PCV training courses offered by local bus companies are preparing new drivers to hit the road as company employees. The first is an apprentice program being offered by Bluestar, one of the leading operators of public buses in south Hampshire.

The Southern Daily Echo reported late last month that the company had chosen two teenagers as the first participants in their apprenticeship program. The two 17-year-olds will undergo a three-year apprenticeship that will teach them the whole business of bus operations, including the training necessary to earn their PCV licenses.

The second program comes by way of the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) in Ipswich. The program was originally developed to train the unemployed as bus drivers in order to supply the personnel needed for Ipswich buses. However, the program has proved successful enough that it may be expanded to other parts of the country.

The main difference with the Ipswich program is that it is specifically targeted to train new bus drivers. Those deemed suitable for the program enter a six-week training course that covers everything from bus operation to highway safety to the theory and practical skills test.

Since the pilot program was established last year, Ipswich Bus has graduated eight new drivers and enrolled an additional six. So far it seems as though the program is accomplishing just what the company had hoped for.

Bus Driving As a Career

The efforts of the two companies profiled here are just the beginning in what’s becoming a burgeoning opportunity. All over the country, there is a need for drivers qualified to drive buses, coaches, ambulances, and so on. Moreover, with the number of new drivers not keeping pace with retirements and new openings, there is no shortage of work.

In order to drive a bus or coach professionally an individual needs a licence qualifying him or her to operate a passenger-carrying vehicle (PCV). Specialized training is required in order to teach the driver the unique aspects of operating these types of vehicles. Though PCV training is similar to the training for an HGV or LGV licence, there are enough differences to make it a separate type of program.

Driving a PCV requires special skills related to the human cargo a vehicle is carrying. There are also unique traffic laws that apply to PCVs. Learning all of these things is what PCV training is all about.

The HGV Training Centre is pleased to make PCV training one of the services we offer. We can prepare you to take your theory test, then send you to the classroom where you will learn everything you need to know for your practical skills training. We follow that up with work behind the wheel and, eventually, we assist you in scheduling your practical skills test.

If you are interested in becoming a bus or coach driver, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will be engaged in a rewarding and promising career.

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